After the long winter, there is nothing better than getting your home in shape with a thorough spring clean. This includes taking a close look at all of your appliances and making sure that they are not gathering dust or harbouring dirt. Here are some essential appliance cleaning tips for you to follow this spring.
It’s not uncommon for containers or bottles of food to find their way to the back of the fridge or some corner that you hardly check. Food can go bad in your fridge and you may not notice it because any smells are trapped inside the container. Now is the time to give your fridge a thorough clean inside and out. So, start by removing all of the food from your fridge along with all the racks or shelves and drawers. Anything that can be removed, should be taken out. If necessary, run some hot water in a tub and allow various removable parts to soak. Now wipe down the interior of your fridge and remember to avoid using any harsh chemicals. In fact, warm water should do just fine. Check the drainage hole while you’re at it and make sure it’s not slimy or clogged. Scrub, rinse and dry all the racks and drawers before placing them back in the fridge. Clean the door gaskets thoroughly too while you’re at it. Stock your fridge with your food and check the quality and expiration dates.
As for the exterior, you should unplug your fridge and move it away from the wall. Use your vacuum cleaner and a soft brush to remove dirt and dust from the coils. These are usually located on the back, top or sometimes beneath the appliance. Check the drain pan and hose to make sure they are all clean and clear. Once you are done, plug your fridge in and move it back into place.
Remove the oven knobs, stove grates and any other removable parts. You want to soak the knobs with warm soapy water. The grates can be placed in a plastic bag (with a seal) along with ¼ cup of ammonia. Allow to rest overnight and wipe them down the next morning. Wipe the stove and backsplash with clean, hot soapy water. Follow the instructions for any self-cleaning ovens. Alternatively, for non-self cleaning models, you can use baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the interior of the appliance and allow it to sit overnight. Wipe down with a clean wet rag in the morning. Alternatively, you can coat it with baking soda and then spray it with vinegar. Glass doors are easy to clean with baking soda and water paste. You only need to let them sit for about 30 minutes before wiping them clean.
While some might say that dishwashers are self-cleaning appliances, this is only half true. Over time, detergent, food and grime can build up, so they need a hand to stay in top condition. You can do this by adding one cup of vinegar to a dishwasher safe bowl and placing it on the top rack and running a short wash cycle. Now, sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run a short cycle again. Remember, you should also take the time to check all the filters and clean the door gasket too.
Like your dishwasher, your washer also needs a hand to keep it clean and smelling fresh. Run a wash cycle with a cup or two of vinegar. An extra hot cycle is also good from time to time to really get rid of any stubborn dirt. Check your filters and scrub the detergent tray too.
As for your dryer, you can clean it by wipe it down with some white vinegar inside and checking your lint trap before every use. In addition, you should check the exhaust vent at least every two years and make sure you clean around the appliance often since dust tends to gravitate towards heat.